Dear SSIS Parents,
This semester, my main goal was to listen, and learn about, the SSIS school community. What is important to this community? What are we celebrating? And, what are those areas that need to be improved so that our children can be the best that they can be?
Through meetings with parents across the school in different settings and in different language groups, individual meetings with every faculty, staff and Leadership Team member, and conversations with students across the school, I learned a great deal about the school. What did I learn from our parents? Our parents are loving, supportive parents who want their children to thrive and are truly dedicated to the “personal and intellectual development” (SSIS mission statement) of their children. Parents recognize the excellent quality of the teachers and staff at SSIS. Parents appreciate the strong challenging academic program that their children are receiving and recognize that this program is the best of US and International Education. In addition, parents also realize that for their children to succeed academically, they must develop strong social and emotional skills. They must “be well to do well” when facing the many challenges of today’s complex world. Essentially, they must be strong mentally and physically in order to realize their potential.
We are responding to our parents’ feedback. For the 2019-2020 school year, we will provide additional academic opportunities in those areas that give students greater choices with AP courses (AP Physics) and IB courses (English B, Vietnamese A, and Theater).
In addition, we will significantly increase the level of social and emotional support available for our students across the school. For students from EC-Grade 12, we are adding a Student Support Coordinating Role. This person will monitor overall student progression throughout the years ensuring that students are making the desired progress and that appropriate support systems are in place to challenge and support students.
In the middle school, a Dean of Students position will be added. This Dean will oversee transitions between divisions, take responsibility for discipline, strengthen the advisory program, develop leadership programs for students, and advance the co-curricular programs that enhance our students’ middle school experience. The MS Principal and MS Counselor will be freed up to concentrate fully on supporting students, parents, and teachers.
In the high school, a fourth counselor will be added. This counselor will focus on social and emotional development and support for our students at this challenging age. Two social/emotional counselors and two college counselors will provide an extraordinary level of care and support to our high school students.
In addition, we will appoint an Activities Director to oversee all of the After-School Activities (ASAs) in addition to the clubs, special programs, and other student activities across the school. We will again elicit your opinions as we develop these programs.
I am most grateful to the Board of Directors of SSIS for supporting these new positions that improve our students’ academic, social and emotional wellbeing. It is such a privilege to work for a nonprofit school, where we know that every financial resource is dedicated to enhancing the student experience and opportunities.
Finally, on this Thanksgiving, I give thanks to this amazing parent community. Thank you all for your support of the school, faculty, and staff; to the PTA for their dedication, time, talent and effort; and to every parent for their love and care for their children. Together, we can help every child at SSIS to realize his/her potential!
If at any time, you have questions, concerns or recommendations of a school-wide nature, I hope you will contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Catriona Moran
Head of School